Jurgen Klopp’s side started their Champions League campaign in the worst possible fashion with a crushing 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Naples club.
Jason Cundy has slammed Virgil van Dijk for his poor defensive showings of late at the heart of the Liverpool defence.
The former Spurs defender has also claimed that Van Dijk should not be compared to Premier League greats like Rio Ferdinand and John Terry because of his lack of longevity at the top. Speaking on talkSPORT, Cundy said:
“He was lauded as one of the greatest centre-halves that the Premier League has ever seen – poppycock. He’s not and I’ll tell you why he’s not, it’s because it comes down to longevity. If you look at Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, who over a number of years won multiple Premier Leagues, won Champions League and won FA Cups. The pair of them won the lot.”
“Van Dijk is a brilliant centre-half but overrated at Liverpool. If you did a best XI at Liverpool ever, he’s not in there. There’s no doubting how good Van Dijk was, but right now let’s call it as it is, Van Dijk is an absolute shadow of the player he was.”
Cundy has claimed that Van Dijk has experienced a massive drop-off in his form but is not being criticized for his performances. He added:
“He’s getting overlooked because he’s happy to blame Trent [Alexander-Arnold] and Gomez and Tsimikas comes in. The mainstay right now is Van Dijk and he’s nowhere near it. What about the challenge on Mitrovic for the penalty against Fulham? Mitrovic turns him, that’s not Van Dijk! He squares him up, turns him, penalty.”
“Against Napoli, he lunges in and makes a challenge that he doesn’t have to make. I never saw John Terry make decisions like that or consistently have a bad run like this. Rio Ferdinand, I never saw it. The drop-off from him being the greatest centre-half that the world has ever seen to now, the drop-off is colossus. I want Liverpool fans to see it and say it.”
Liverpool need to get their campaign back on track
The Merseysiders have endured the worst possible start to their Champions League campaign after struggling at the start of the Premier League season as well.
The Reds have looked all over the place defensively and have not impressed while going forward either.
It is still very early into the season and the Reds have time to recover. Manager Jurgen Klopp has a task on his hands to ensure that his players buckle up soon.
The Reds will next be in action in the Premier League when they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on Saturday (September 10).